Emotional Intelligence: The Key Ingredient To Leadership, Part 1

There's scientific proof that emotional intelligence is a key element that makes an individual a better leader. In his 1998 Harvard Business Review article What Makes a Leader, Daniel Goleman explained how his research showed "direct ties between emotional intelligence and measurable business results."

This is just one of numerous studies that shows how emotional intelligence often trumps education or experience when it comes to success.

Today and tomorrow, Promotional Consultant Today will share insights from authors Andrew S. Kane and Kristin MacDermott on what we mean by emotional intelligence and how it plays a role in successful leadership.

What is emotional intelligence? Emotional Intelligence is about two things: understanding the cause and effect of your emotions and managing them. It's about self-awareness and self-control.

The byproduct of understanding and being in control of your own emotions is that it makes you more likely to understand and tolerate other people's emotions. In other words, emotional intelligence gives you empathy—a foundational component of trust. Trust is a critical component of all relationships developed by a leader—business, family and personal—and is a prerequisite for high-functioning teams and high-performing cultures.

How exactly does emotional intelligence help leaders and their businesses?
To understand how emotional intelligence helps leaders and their businesses, Kane and MacDermott looked at the four key tasks leaders must tackle over the life cycle of their businesses:

1. They must get their own mindset in order and aligned with the vision for the company.
2. They must put together the right team.
3. They must lead the team to execute the vision.
4. They must retain employees and develop leaders, many from within the company, as they grow the business.

The Mindset of a Great Leader. A mindset built on self-awareness and self-control is the foundation for great leadership. Understanding and being able to control emotions allows leaders to feel their best and function at their highest level in every situation. They understand the relationship between their thoughts, emotions and bodies, so they take care of themselves, mentally, emotionally and physically. Instead of being compromised by stress, they are focused and energized with stamina to spare. Instead of making emotional decisions they might later regret, they stay calm and make good decisions, even under pressure.

Leaders with high emotional intelligence understand that thoughts and beliefs drive their behavior, so they clean up limiting beliefs and operate from empowered self-talk. This allows them to behave in ways that move them toward their goals, instead of allowing blind spots to sabotage their plans. Self-awareness about their weaknesses allows emotionally intelligent leaders to live their lives—and lead their teams—from their strengths while surrounding themselves with people who mitigate and help them strengthen their weaknesses. Self-awareness around their personal needs allows them to create work/life balance that keeps them aligned with their values.

Tomorrow, PCT will share details on how emotional intelligence impacts the other three tasks leaders must achieve: putting together the right team, executing the vision and developing future leaders.

Source: Andrew S Kane, OBE, Ph.D., works with clients to tackle tough issues that arise as clients journey through their adulthood. He co-authored the article with Kristin MacDermott, LMFT, that was the basis for this PCT.

filed under September 2018
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